Nigeria’s top dance queen, Kaffy, opens up to Isaac Oladipupo on her life-changing Guinness Book of World Records experience and how she hopes to use “one of the best jobs in the entertainment industry” to help youths transform their lives. Enjoy…
Looking back at your childhood, what was your dream job?
Aeronautics Engineering. It started with me fixing stuff when I was a kid so I wanted to be any kind of Engineer but decided to go for Aeronautics because there’s a void in the country.
When did you first know you could dance?
That was when I was 6 years old. It was at a birthday party where I won the dancing competition. And my primary school, Chrisland, really encouraged me to dance too.
At what age did you start dancing, and what inspired the decision?
My first industry gig was when I was 8. I danced in Kollington Ayinla’s video for the album entitled Blessing. Then I danced professionally for the first time in 2002.
More than just dancing—you’ve taken the art to a different level. How did you achieve that?
My basic training in Fitness Training actually helped me diversify the art of dancing into not just dancing for fun but for health. So, for me, it’s fun meets health. You can’t go wrong with that formula!
You are undoubtedly one of Africa’s finest dancers. What’s been responsible for your consistent success?
Its nothing but the special grace of God. It’s got nothing to do with me, I’m only His tool.
What stands you out from Nigeria’s fast increasing number of dancers?
I’d say perseverance, consistency, variety in dance, dance ethics, hard-work, experience and a whole lot of humility.
Aside entertaining people with your dance, do you always pass any other message across whenever you dance?
Aside from being an art, dancing for me has become a platform for empowering young people. I’m into youth empowerment so I encourage young people to dance for a purpose, giving them a new lease on life through dance. This is hugely based on my own experience growing up and learning that there is always another way out, there are always options! You never give up and I basically fought against all vices growing up. Now I’m providing young people the opportunity I didn’t have- a platform to improve themselves!
Tell me about how getting into the Guinness Book of Records happened.
Uncle Ben Bruce of the Silverbird Group actually asked me how long I can dance for and I told him I don’t know. Then, he went ahead to talk to me about setting a new world record for Nigeria but I didn’t think I could do it, because I’d rather not start something than fail at it. But instead of turning down an opportunity, I entered my dance company – Imagneto – into the marathon to qualify for the for the longest Dance marathon in the Guinness Book of World Records, and didn’t plan to join in at all. On the day the marathon was to start, I realized the morale of the team was low probably because I wasn’t leading so I decided to join them that same day. Without any training whatsoever, I just jumped in. And we danced for three days straight, only earning five minutes of toilet breaks for every hour you dance. After the marathon, 120 people qualified and were divided into four groups to try out simultaneously. To my amazement, my group, the Zebra Group, ended as the last group standing. And that was how we set the new world record at 53hours, 40minutes. As the last man standing, I danced for 55hours hence putting Nigeria and Dance in the Guinness Book of World Records.
How did you feel achieving this feat?
I was very proud to put Nigeria and the Nigerian entertainment industry on the world map, and this time, for something positive.
What are the major differences entering the Guinness Book has made in your life?
The one major change was that people started to take dance and dancers seriously. And generally, it showed that one should never take what one does lightly. Whatever you do, do it well and excel at it!
Seems you’re now trying your hands on music, what’s the motive behind this?
Firstly, after 15years in the entertainment industry, you get to a point in your career where you either reinvent or you remain stagnant and you can only be queen or king for a while.
Secondly, whenever I dance, I have copyright issues. I’ve started headlining shows and I have issues with artistes whenever I use their work so I chose to use my own work so I can sell work out dvds and stream work out sessions online with my own music and so on. Thirdly, I love music because without music there is no dance.
Dance or music, which do you find more tasking?
Dance is more tasking, both physically and mentally.
What inspires your dance skills?
Dance is basically inspired by the music. The music drives me, I hear the music and I interpret every sound into movement.
Tell me about your worst experience on stage?
A lot of things happen that are not funny but I don’t dwell on them. I just move on so I can tell you that I don’t remember.
What are you up to at the moment?
I’m working on my dance album and also my TV series called Dance Burnout. We also have a program called Divas Define, a workout session for female celebrities which includes nutrition analysis, personalised fitness program, dance choreography, fitness programme, maintenance services and so much more. We are also working on launching K.A.F.F.Y wear with a fashion show with the working title ‘From the Gym to the Catwalk’, and also a dance concert for the end of the year featuring an international music and dance artist. Phew!
Tell me about the man in your life.
I’m currently single and ready to mingle.
Describe your kind of man in 5 word.
Generous, God-fearing, honest, funny and ambitious.
Your greatest dream.
To be the biggest export from the Nigerian entertainment Industry to the world.